Q & A's
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Special Announcement & Clarification
Ask The Law™ Q & A Column
For July 2007
There is a need to clarify an answer in July’s column by Officer Chris Sahagun of the California Highway Patrol. The question related to the transportation of vehicles and whether they were considered “HazMat” (HM) because of the gasoline in the tank. If you want to refer to the question, the title was “CMV Liability Insurance.” Officer Sahagun feels his answer, although correct, needs some further explanation.
Since the FMCSA’s guidance is very ambiguous, Ol’ Blue, USA will be doing some research to make certain the interpretation and answer is as clear as possible.
Please take a look at Officer Sahagun’s clarification of the rule’s interpretation.
In the July 2007 issue of “Ask The Law”™ I answered a question regarding the amount of insurance required while transporting motor vehicles (MV). There appears to be conflicting opinions regarding this issue. When I answered this question, I was referring to information contained in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), through April 1, 2005, Part 387.3 interpretations:
“Question 8: Are motor vehicles being transported considered to be HM for purposed of the financial responsibility requirements, thus requiring the higher limits set forth in the regulations?
Guidance: No, while motor vehicles are identified as HM in the Hazardous Materials Table at Part 172.101, motor vehicles, by themselves, are not to be treated as HM and should be considered non-hazardous property.”
In FMCSRs, through October 1, 2006, even though the wording in this Part has not changed, the interpretation has changed. I was unaware of this change when I wrote the original response. The interpretation now reads as follows:
“Guidance: Yes. Even though vehicles being transported by motor vehicle are subject only to 49 CFR 173.220 of the HMRs, they meet the definition of “Hazardous material” in 49 CFR 171.8 because “Vehicle, flammable gas powered” and “Vehicle, flammable liquid powered” are designated as hazardous in 49 CFR 172.101 [UN 3166]. For that reason, vehicles transporting other vehicles would have to carry $1,000,000 of public liability insurance.”
Although MVs are specifically exempt under 49 CFR 173.220 (b)(4), and the old interpretation stated MVs are not considered HM, unless the interpretation changes back, I would suggest motor carriers transporting MVs carry $1,000,000 of public liability insurance.
Ol’ Blue, USA and its Ask The Law team is very sorry for any inconvenience that this might have caused.